HMAS Tobruk completes life-saving mission to Vanuatu

Media Release – Tuesday 14 April 2015



Operation Pacific Assist 2015


HMAS Tobruk commenced her return to Townsville after three weeks supporting Operation Pacific Assist in Vanuatu.

HMAS Tobruk provided life-saving humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support to isolated communities throughout the cyclone devastated archipelago in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Pam, delivering more than 25 tonnes of supplies, equipment and reconstruction teams by landing craft, helicopter and crane.

Commander Joint Task Force 665, Captain Jay Bannister, RAN, said the ship and its company performed exceptionally well, providing an invaluable contribution to the mission.

HMAS Tobruk’s departure marks the drawdown of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) activities in Vanuatu.

As part of the DFAT-led mission, the ADF has helped deliver personnel and supplies on behalf of Non-Government Organisations, the United Nations and the United States Government.

After a month of Australian, New Zealand, French and British support to recovery operations, locals are progressively returning to their daily routines with businesses, restaurants, and open-air markets reopening while children are returning to school.

ADF personnel have played a major part in the immediate relief effort by repairing key infrastructure, restoring basic services and delivering vital humanitarian assistance and disaster relief support.

The ADF have committed more than 500 personnel, undertaken approximately 260 supporting sorties and delivered over 200 pallets of aid to Vanuatu during the relief effort.

There are still approximately 82 ADF personnel left in Vanuatu supporting the work of three Army S-70 Black Hawk helicopters, vehicles and engineering stores.

HMAS Tobruk is returning with over 30 vehicles and a group of 3rd Combat Engineer Regiment personnel.